How many articles have you read about a father being his daughter’s first love?
About a 25-year-old who still refers to herself as a "daddy's girl"? Well, this isn't going to be one of those.
I adore my dad, but I recognize he isn't perfect. He doesn't keep in touch as often as he should, he gets grumpy if he doesn't get his way, and his marriage to my mother ended pretty horribly.
I wouldn't, however, ever change him. He taught me the five most valuable lessons a woman can learn:
1. Don't sweat the small stuff.
When I was in school and panicking about exams, I turned to my dad for advice. My mother, while she always meant well, placed a lot of pressure on me to succeed.
In the weeks leading up to my results, I was an anxious mess. Rather than telling me I would be fine, my dad asked me to imagine the very worst case scenario.
He pointed to people like Richard Branson, who's extremely successful despite leaving school with minimal qualifications.
He taught me that when you actually sit and think about the worst possible outcome, it probably isn't as bad as you think. Even if it is, you'll get through it.
2. Always keep enough money aside to live for at least three months.
When I was growing up, my parents didn't have a whole lot of money. We weren't poor, but we certainly weren't wealthy. My parents carefully budgeted for everything.
One of the key lessons my dad taught me was to always make sure I had enough money in the bank to live for three months in case the worst should happen.
A few years ago, I really had to test this piece of wisdom. While I wouldn't say I'm a great saver, I do always try to adhere to the three-month rule.
3. Be kind and put yourself in other people’s shoes.
My dad is one of the kindest people I've ever known. He has the patience of a saint. When I complain about kids screaming on the train home or my neighbors being nightmares, he always makes me look at things from the other people's perspectives.
It isn't always easy, but by listening to my father’s advice, I'm slowly becoming a better person.
4. The best things in life are free.
When I was a child, my dad encouraged me and my siblings to be creative. He would bring home cardboard boxes from work, and we would spend all evening making them into houses and forts.
When I wanted to hang out in shopping centers with friends, he made me walk miles through the countryside so I would learn to identify every species of wildlife there was.
He showed me the things that make us the happiest in life don't cost any money. The things that really afford you happiness are using your mind, exploring nature and learning to love your surroundings.
5. Nothing lasts forever.
This is the most important lesson any of us can learn. When I was upset at school, my dad would remind me it wouldn't always be like this.
When my first boyfriend and I broke up, my dad swore I would one day feel happy again (although I was convinced he was wrong).
He's also taught me to appreciate the good times because they, too, will pass. As my parents get older, this is a lesson I try to remember at all times. I want to value every day with them and ensure they always know how much they mean to me.
And so, with that in mind, Happy Father’s Day, Dad!